Sony has released a new beta firmware for the PlayStation 5 console that brings with IT a whole host of new accessibility as well as social features, along with the inclusion of Dolby Atmos.
The PS5 can now output audio to Dolby Atmos compatible devices. Previously, this was only available for Blu-ray playback, that too specifically through bitstream. This new beta adds software encoding of Atmos content for games as well.
While playing games that support the PS5 Tempest 3D AudioTech, the console will encode the audio in Dolby Atmos if required so you can output it to your Atmos-compatible speakers, soundbar, or television. This also includes support for height channels. This is something that is done on the console so games don’t need to be updated for Atmos and can continue using the Tempest 3D AudioTech as before.
This is quite the change compared to a few years ago before the launch of the PS5 when Sony’s Mark Cerny spoke about how the company’s audio tech is superior to Atmos and Dolby retorted with a blog post.
The update also adds support for using a second controller for assistance. This lets you pair two DualSense controllers, which are both recognized as the same primary controller (think two mice or keyboards connected to the same PC). A second person can now also control the same game along with the first player in order to assist them or play alongside.
Haptic support has also been added for UI navigation events so you will get optional feedback for things like moving focus, reaching the end of a scrollable section, checking a box, etc.
Sony has also finally added a search feature to your library so you can search by typing a name rather than scrolling endlessly.
New social features include being able to invite a player to a party without automatically adding the player into the group and sending open or closed party invitations to groups instead of only individuals, being able to see which of your friends are in an activity you can join, being able to see how many tournaments you have entered and the highest place you’ve achieved, and adding reactions with emojis.
The update also adds support for higher capacity M.2 drives. You can now have drives as large as 8TB, up from the previous limit of 4TB.
Finally, there are improvements to Game Help, new Discover Tips option, and the ability to mute the PS5 beep sounds.
As usual, the beta is available to limited users who sign up for it in select countries. Expect these changes in the final release eventually perhaps with a few changes.